Artist present work for Day of Dead

Sharida Rejon

Cassandra McGowan, Reporter

The Foundry held an exhibition on Nov. 1 presenting the art of their members in celebration of Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead.

This traditional Mexican holiday celebrates the lives of loved ones passed on, and instead of being a mournful time, it is a time in which the deceased are celebrated with food, drink, and recreations of events the deceased enjoyed while still on Earth.

The moniker of Dia de los Muertos has become the sugar skull.  In traditional Dia de los Muertos celebrations, the sugar skull is actually made from sugar or chocolate and has the name of the deceased placed on the skulls forehead.

Many people place these skulls on the gravestone of the loved one whose spirit they wish to return.

The Foundry’s executive director Christina Sweet said that the members conducted a vote for the theme they wanted to present for this month’s First Friday, and the theme of Dia de los Muertos was the one the members chose.

“We put it up for vote for our members, what they wanted to do this month because we have a new member show every month,” said Sweet.

Members of the Foundry then created their art and the pieces were displayed in the windows of the gallery for all to see.

Artist and photographer Crysco was one of the featured artists.

When asked what Dia de los Muertos means to him, he said that he liked the idea that deceased loved ones were being celebrated instead of being mourned.

“We’re capturing the whole essence of being celebratory, kind of celebrating people that have passed,” he said.

His pieces were photographs that featured women with their faces painted like the traditional sugar skull and one of a man who resembled Dr. Spaulding from Rob Zombie’s “House of a Thousand Corpses.”

He said he spent many hours searching for the perfect frames to enhance the beauty of his photographs.

Crysco attended Bakersfield College and was a finance executive before discovering his love for photography atop the Empire State Building in New York City six years ago.

He promptly quit his financing job and has been focused on his career as an artist ever since.

Crysco said that when he found out what the Foundry’s theme was for this month that he wanted to do traditional-style portraits like they do in Mexico with the help of his makeup artist who was also his muse.

“We kind of looked over some inspiration, some photos from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, and kind of went through some looks and some styling. I got one of my costume artists in, as well, to get us some flowers that would kind of match the look and clothing that they were going to wear,” said Crysco.

He said that he used a large piece of colored paper as the backdrop, which he then painted to create some texture behind the men and women featured in his photographs.

“I shot them in front of [the colored paper], and then I went in and digitally painted textures, painted everything else. I repainted the makeup here and there to make it pop a little bit,” said Crysco.

This current exhibition will close at the end of the month and December’s theme will be The Island of the Misfit Toys, which will open on Dec. 6.